Thursday, November 26, 2009


I pulled out the Bread Bakers Apprentice book out again today so I could have a contribution for Nana's annual Thanksgiving feast, so, being the Italian that I am, decided to go with an Italian bread, the Casatiello.

After I tasted it when it was finished, I sent my friend a text that said "holy f***, this bread is amazing".

It was actually a relatively easy bread to make, just lots of time to rise, and well, it's certainly not friendly for the waistline, it's a brioche style bread with bits of diced salami and shredded provolone cheese mixed in, and it is such a rich, soft and somewhat delicate bread, and it is easily one of the most delicious breads I've ever tasted!

And it was a big hit at Thanksgiving too and a few people asked me for the recipe. Well, you can find this recipe and many more in the book!

Now for some pics:

Here is the dough after mixing

And after rising for about 90 minutes

In the springform pan I baked it in (very nice way to bake bread, btw!)
After rising for another hour:

After baking (although I baked for the recommended time, when I cut into it the top fell a little bit and it was a tad undercooked, but still delicious!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Super yum sandwiches

This sandwich couldn't be more simple and more yummy! (And sorry, I didn't take a picture and well, you know me, no measurements).

  • 3 ounces cooked, shredded chicken breast (I poached mine, it came out super moist)
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce (maybe about 1 tablespoon? I just add enough until I think it's enough)
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 sesame seed hoagie roll (or whatever bread you have on hand)
Mix the hot sauce with chicken and spread evenly on the sub bun, open faced. Top with cheese and put under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to brown.

Super good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hot Fudge Spoon Cake

This dessert reminded me of something similar I had when I went to visit friends in England last year, Sticky Toffee Pudding, which, from what I remember, was AMAZING. Thanks to Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, I found something just as yummy.

Hot Fudge Spoon Cake
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet ground chocolate (I couldn't find sweetened so I just used Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, and if you use this you will need to increase the sugar to 2/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (again, increase to 2/3 cup if you use unsweetened chocolate)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sweet cocoa powder (I used Hershey's unsweetened again, and increased the sugar, again)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (increase to 2/3 cup if using unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
1) Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, such as Pam
2) In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, ground chocolate, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir the liquid ingredients until well blended, and continue stirring in widening circles, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients, until you have a smooth batter. It will be thick. Spread evenly in the slow cooker (it's best to use a medium size round slow cooker for this recipe)
3) To make the topping, combine the other ingredients in another bowl and whisk until smooth. Gently pour over the batter in the cooker; DO NOT STIR IN. Cover and cook on HIGH until puffed and the top layer is set, about 2-2 1/4 hours.
4) Turn off the cooker and let stand, covered, for at least 30 minutes before refrigerating or serving right out of the cooker.
5) To serve, scoop the cake into individual bowls. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if so desired and spoon some of the fudgy pudding at the bottom over the cake.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pull Apart Coffee Cake

As taken from Kraft

  • 1 can (16.3 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

Separate biscuits; cut into quarters. Mix dry pudding mix, zest and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add biscuit pieces; toss to coat. Drizzle with butter; toss lightly. Place in 9-inch round pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 20 min. Cool 5 min.; remove from pan.

Microwave cream cheese in small microwaveable bowl on high for 15 sec.; stir in sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake; top with nuts.

2 for 1!

I had my parents and sister over for dinner on Sunday, and even Miss Picky Eater herself (my sister) liked the potatoes. (The secret was not telling her what was in them until she ate it, but it's food/condiments she likes anyway).

You can find the recipe for the roast beef here.

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes (adapted from Kraft)
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1C fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1.5T grated parmesan cheese
Place potatoes and broth in large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring after 8 minutes. Uncover and stir potatoes. Simmer uncovered for 5-6 minutes or until potatoes are tender and most of the broth is absorbed. (I cooked mine a little less since I cut the original recipe in half, except the broth, I kept the original amount).

Add cream cheese and reduce heat to low (or you can do what I did and just turn the heat off at this point). Mash potatoes slightly until cream cheese is melted. Add sour cream and parmesan cheese and stir until ingredients are blended. Season with salt and pepper.

The result? Delicious! This is only the second time I've made mashed potatoes (I usually roast/bake them) but they were a big hit, and my dad, who usually gives me an "it's not bad" said everything was delicious.

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus:
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and spread asparagus on sheet, spraying asparagus with non-stick spray as well. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until asparagus is tender. 20 minutes was just a tiny bit overcooked for my liking, but my mom said it could have been cooked a little longer. Roasting the asparagus along with the balsamic vinegar gives it a great taste, and it couldn't be a more simple side dish to make.